EU|BICs are quality-certified organisations that use business and innovation as a force for regional (economic, sustainable, and social) development.
EU|BICs use the best possible actions to create thriving startups and SMEs, taking real steps to ensure that their services are best advantageous to their clients and best advantageous to their regions. As of 2021, there are more than 110 quality-certified EU|BICs and 30+ Associate Members in over 35 countries shaping the global EU|BIC community.
EU|BICs are recognisable via the EU|BIC trademark, which certifies their compliance to a set of standards known as the EU|BIC Quality Mark Criteria and the EU|BIC Quality Trademark, the only quality system recognised by the European Union.
The EU|BIC Certification and Self-Assessment Frameworks help certified organisations benchmark performance and identify areas for improvement. It is the only certification that stimulates business support organisations to continuously improve the quality of their service delivery to client companies.
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Becoming a Certified EU|BIC
The Certification process uses credible, comprehensive, transparent and independent standards of business support and organisational impact performance. The process underpins the value of the EU|BIC Quality Mark and of the organisations that have received the licence (professionalism, performance, consistency and positioning).
EU|BIC assessment framework
The EU|BIC assessment framework measures an organisation’s performance in four categories: support services, ecosystem building, startup performance, access to finance.
The online self-assessment questionnaire is the first tool used by EBN to assess the compliance to the EU|BIC Quality Mark criteria providing a first in-depth picture of the candidate in terms of profiling and performances indicators.
Audits (onsite and virtual) are organised to enable first-time accreditations of candidate EU|BIC and to re-assess the compliance to the EU|BIC criteria to existing EU|BIC. The audit is carried out by one of the EBN accredited experts.
Whether you are a candidate EU|BIC, or an existing one selected within the evaluation program, an audit is a rare occasion to get reviewed by one of your peers. Therefore, it should be welcomed as an occasion to share expertise and benchmark your incubation and acceleration programmes, tools, methodologies and indicators.
Recertify with pride
Every year, EBN notifies full members with an expiring EU|BIC license and help them plan a peer review in the coming months. All EU|BIC organisations should apply for a peer review when their licence is expiring.
The EU|BIC Peer Review Scheme is an initiative launched by EBN and overseen by the EU|BIC Quality Mark Committee (BQMC) to enable members with an expiring EU|BIC licence to renew their EU|BIC Certification.
Every 5 years, we make sure that organisations continue to comply with the EU|BIC Quality Mark Criteria and we recertify them with pride. We do that by supporting EU|BICs to plan broker peer reviews and fostering the exchange of best practices. The EU|BIC Peer Review Scheme has therefore multiple objectives:
- To promote greater collaboration and foster cross-fertilisation of initiatives among certified EU|BICs.
- To identify best practices, share know-how, and methodologies.
- To enhance the quality and the validity of the EU|BIC Assessment Framework.
- To emphasise the targeted continuous improvements of EU|BIC organisations and recertify with pride.
Brief history of EU|BICs
EU|BICs were invented almost 30 years ago by the European Commission and by various private and public stakeholders, to boost the economic development and the innovation potential of European regions. An EU|BIC’s core mission is to accelerate innovative entrepreneurship at the local level, through the customised delivery of a comprehensive range of professional support and incubation services (pre-incubation, incubation, post-incubation) targeted at innovative startups, spin-offs, entrepreneurs and SMEs.
An EU|BIC’s value chain is classically described as follows: “stimulate, detect, assess, select, incubate, mentor, cluster, accelerate, internationalise”.
Read more about our community’s specific mission commitments and impact here
For the EU|BIC community to rise to our future challenges we need to continue the ongoing transition to fair and sustainable regions and societies. EBN is ready to work with you and make this happen.